Originally Posted by Kyberwulf
Okay, so I'd like to propose the following four rules for a definition of 'zombie', as I read the OP's intent:
-Must be recognizably humanoid (easy one).
-Must be capable of and required to reproduce via infection of living or dead humanoid hosts.
-Must not exceed gross physical limits of the pre-infection host body.
-Must possess an overwhelming desire to infect/kill/eat humanoids, engaging in unilateral violence whenever possible.
So, classic Romero shamblers would be baseline, as usual. 28DL ragers or LFD Infected would be game, but Special Infected wouldn't count. Nor would the various boss monsters of Resident Evil, leaving only the mook zombies. Necromorphs would be right out, since it sounds like even the baseline 'zombie' Necromorph is head and shoulders above a human. It's now a King Of The Shambling Hill contest, rather than Who Has The Meanest Video Game Miniboss...so who's taking the prize?
My personal rankings would be as follows:
-Romero Zombies: By Land of the Dead, they're becoming semi-intelligent, to the point of the ability to use weapons. Zombies with guns > zombies without guns.
-Newsflesh Zombies: Capable of sprinting/running if fresh or well-fed, exhibit tactical cunning in large groups, but no true intelligence and dependent on numbers for cunning.
-Left 4 Dead Infected: Fast and tough, mass quickly, but mindless.
-28 Days Later Infected: As LFD, but they don't seem to move in the same large mobs.
-RE zombies (unknown): The one mention of them in-thread was classic shamblers, so if they're slow and lack any ability to coordinate, they're at the bottom of the heap.